The Walking Dead: Episode 1 – A New Day (PC, PS3, XBOX 360)
Launched in instalments the new Walking Dead game will be particularly pleasing for fans of the comic books, TV show and general apocalyptic zombie mayhem. In the game you take on the role of Lee a convicted murderer who uses the zombie outbreak to make a run for it and ends up fighting alongside other survivors. This is a handsome, graphically appealing game which evokes the finest scenes of the comic books without tampering with the main Walking Dead plot. Gameplay wise there’s much to endorse too as Lee is required to make a number of crucial decisions and make them fast. Despite its cartoonlike look the gameplay really forces home the tension and trauma the survivors are experiencing. While it’s over relatively quickly, there is replay value here and things are nicely set up for the second in the series.
Risen 2: Dark Waters (PC)
Pirates may have slipped slightly off the cultural radar recently, but Risen 2 looks like clawing PC gamers back into the murky waters of the high seas. A vast improvement on its clumsy predecessor; Risen 2 take you to a far away fantasy land where monsters, magic and nautical nasties all get in the way of your hero’s attempts to fulfil a mystical quest. While there are some cringe inducing swashbuckling stereotypes in Risen 2, this is still a fun RPG. Dark at times, reasonable to look at and with enough scope for decent customisation and exploration this will certainly fill a hole till Skyrim launches its downloadable content in a couple of months. In fact when you compare it with the first Risen there’s every inkling that come the third instalment Risen may finally have enough punch to make a real impression on the genre.
Of all the great indie PC games block building adventure Minecraft has got to be the best. Since 2009 Minecraft has been strictly non-console, but this recent port brings XBOX 360 users into (literally) a whole new world. Their world. The object of Minecraft is to encourage the gamer to develop and build their own realm. Your blocky character has to mine resources, build a house and landscape your environment to suit your needs. The scope of this is limitless, and it’s easy to fritter away hours creating castles, dungeons, cottages, bridges and skyscrapers. Come dusk the game switches from freestyle build mode to a sort of survival horror game. Here you have two options; either bolt down for the night in your house or hit the outdoors to confront (or evade) the hordes of zombies and skeletons. Like mental LEGO, Minecraft is quirky and endlessly entertaining for anyone with an imagination. Future updates also suggest that while this XBOX 360 version isn’t complete, it’ll soon be up to speed with its PC counterpart.